MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun and Eric Thames continued to torment the Reds with home runs before a walk-off wild pitch put the Brewers over the top. It wasn't the way manager Craig Counsell envisioned the end of a six-game losing streak, but he wasn't complaining.Eric Sogard scampered home on Tim
MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun and Eric Thames continued to torment the Reds with home runs before a walk-off wild pitch put the Brewers over the top. It wasn't the way manager Craig Counsell envisioned the end of a six-game losing streak, but he wasn't complaining.
Eric Sogard scampered home on Tim Adleman's errant 0-2 curveball with two outs in the 10th inning for a 6-5 win, moving the Brewers within two games of the Cardinals and Cubs in the National League Central.
"I think you're kind of expecting a walk-off hit to break a streak, but you take it any way you can get it," Counsell said. "I think you can tell by the celebration we had that we needed it."
It was the Brewers' third walk-off win this season, and their second via a wild pitch, having also beaten the Cubs that way on April 7. It was the Reds' first loss on a wild pitch since Aug. 26, 2016.
Adleman was in trouble after Sogard's one-out double and two-out walks to Jesus Aguilar and Thames loaded the bases for Braun. Sogard anticipated a curveball in the dirt with an 0-2 count, and that's exactly what Adleman threw.
"I pulled it off of the outside corner a little too far, so that's a real tough pitch for [Reds catcher] Tucker [Barnhart] to block," Adleman said. "He did pretty well. It didn't get too far, but Sogard got a good jump on it."
"Anything close to the grass, I was going to give it a shot," Sogard said. "I was able to get in there. That was great. We needed that win."
Home runs accounted for all of the scoring as the teams played to a 5-5 tie through nine innings. They each hit three apiece -- Adam Duvall, Patrick Kivlehan and Zack Cozart for the Reds, and Travis Shaw, Braun and Thames for the Brewers. Braun's solo homer in the fifth inning was the 40th of his career against the Reds, and Thames' tying shot in the sixth was his 10th this season against Cincinnati, making him the only player this season in the Majors with double-digit homers against a single opponent. He also became the first player in Brewers history to hit double-digit homers against one team in a season.
• Thames, Braun hit record HRs against Reds
The Reds, who have relied heavily on their bullpen of late, needed all of their primary relievers to hang on to an 11-10 victory Friday. That left Raisel Iglesias, Wandy Peralta and Michael Lorenzen unavailable, and Adleman was the last pitcher manager Bryan Price had at his disposal.
"We used Wandy four out of five [games] and three in a row, and Lorenzen's been pitching 30-plus pitches per game, and 'Iggy' pitched two innings," Price said. "However, the guys that were in there are capable of doing the job. Austin Brice pulled a lat, that's why he came out. … It really left us with [Blake Wood] and short-term guys -- 'Woody' and [Drew] Storen, and Adleman. That was what we had."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Out at home: Thames tried to manufacture a run with his legs in the third inning, but he was denied by Duvall in left field for the Reds. Thames stole second base with two outs and tried to score on Domingo Santana's single. Duvall's throw was right on the money to Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco, who applied the tag for the Reds' Major League-leading 30th outfield assist -- and more important, the inning-ending out. Duvall and teammate Billy Hamilton are tied with the Mariners' Jarrod Dyson atop the MLB leaderboard with 10 outfield assists.
Hader holds on:Josh Hader delivered three scoreless innings in relief of Brewers starter Brent Suter, breezing through the sixth and seventh before narrowly avoiding damage in the eighth. With one out in the eighth, Eugenio Suarez missed a go-ahead home run by mere inches, lining a double to right-center field that struck the top of the wall. He was at third base with two outs when Mesoraco lifted a fly ball to the warning track in left field, where Braun squeezed the inning-ending out.
"We got three innings out of Josh on a night we really needed it from our bullpen," Counsell said. "He did an outstanding job. Big three innings, for sure."
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Brewers closer Corey Knebel thought he had a strikeout to start the ninth inning after home-plate umpire Chad Fairchild ruled a two-strike pitch had nicked Kivlehan's bat before settling in catcher Manny Pina's glove. Kivlehan immediately signaled that the baseball had struck his hand instead, and Price obliged with a challenge. It was a tricky play, since the rules don't allow the replay center to review balls and strikes, only whether a batter was hit by a pitch. Upon review, officials could not definitively determine that the ball hit Kivlehan's hand, so the call stood and he was out, giving Knebel a 1-2-3 inning.
Remarkably, the same play happened again an inning later with Duvall at the plate. Again, Fairchild signaled foul tip and strikeout, and again, the player strenuously objected. The result was the same: The call stood, and Knebel had another strikeout. Mesoraco was ejected from the dugout during the back and forth that followed the ruling.
• Reds frustrated by reviews in loss to Brewers
Reds: To wrap up the three-game series at 2:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, Cincinnati will turn to rookie Sal Romano, who will be making his eighth big league start. Romano faced Milwaukee in his Major League debut on April 16, allowing three runs in three innings and taking a loss.
Brewers: After giving up a season-high eight earned runs in his last start, Matt Garza will look to bounce back in Sunday's series finale at 1:10 p.m. CT. The veteran right-hander is 4-5 with a 4.71 ERA in 15 career starts against the Reds, including a four-inning no-decision in his 2017 debut on April 24 at Miller Park.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.